After a week reflecting on our first defeat of the season against Leeds (0-3), Southampton are todays visitor’s to Villa Park.
Smith will be looking to rebound and a response from a Villa side that has started the campaign exceptionally well. However, for all of the positives seen in our opening four victories, many were alarmed at just how over-run the side were against Bielsa’s high intensity approach.
Southampton are no mugs and carry a clear and obvious threat in freescoring Danny Ings. We also shouldn’t overlook that Theo Walcott, who will make his debut for The Saints. Many will recall Walcott’s last gasp equaliser at Goodison, a header that almost consigned Villa to relegation last term.
For Smith and our re-assembled squad, this is a test of how we regroup after a comprehensive defeat. Already we are in significantly better shape than last season, that’s obviously welcome, but we mustn’t be complacent and risk undoing that good work either.
VILLA TEAM NEWS
GK – Martinez
DEF – Cash
DEF – Konsa
DEF – Mings
DEF – Targett
MID – Douglas Luiz
MID – Traore
MID – Barkley
MID – McGinn
MID – Grealish (Captain)
ATT – Watkins
On the bench for Villa:
Steer (GK), Elmohamady, Engels, Nakamba, Hourihane, Trezeguet, Davis.
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